Puppy kisses and doggy smooches are second nature to most pet owners, but if your four-legged friend has a case of pongy breath, then this can be an unpleasant act that you’d rather avoid.
Aside from the nasty smell though, bad breath can be a sign that something is wrong with your dog, and here are some of the possible causes:
- Poor oral hygiene and periodontal disease:
A build up of plaque and tartar can quickly lead to bad breath in dogs, just as it can in humans, and if you don’t regularly brush your dogs teeth or get them professionally cleaned, then the chances are that they are affected with plaque if their breath is pongy. Left unaddressed, issues around poor oral hygiene can go on to cause periodontal disease. When there is a lot of plaque, the tartar can begin to push the gums away from the teeth and expose new areas for bacteria to develop. The dog’s gums become inflamed and sore and can lead to cavities, tooth loss and in some cases, the formation of pus.
- Eating disgusting things!
We all know how dog’s will put almost anything that is remotely edible into their mouths, and this can range from decomposing animal remains to poop. Some dogs seem to enjoy snacking on their own faeces or that of other dogs, and this is a condition called ‘coprophagia’, which of course makes their breath exceedingly stinky.
If your pet has breath that smells sickly sweet and fruity, then they may have diabetes, and you would need to get them checked over by a vet. Other symptoms can include frequent drinking and urination, so if you see any of these, please get your pooch to a vet.
- Kidney disease:
While doggy bad breath that smells like poop is usually because your pet has been eating it, the same cannot be said if their breath smells like pee. Breath that smells similar to urine can be an indicator that your dog may have kidney disease, and you should certainly get them to a vet as soon as possible.
- Liver disease
As a pet owner, you will doubtless know the difference between normal doggy bad breath, and truly foul breath; the kind that makes you turn your head away and can even make you feel nauseous. If your pet’s breath really stinks and they are also vomiting, along with a lack of appetite and a yellow tinge to the gums, then this can mean that they have a serious liver problem. If you see the onset of any of these symptoms, either alone or in conjunction with one another, then you will need to see a veterinarian.
If you’re worried about the way your pet’s breath smells, and would like to know whether there may be an underlying health issue, please don’t hesitate to seek professional advice as soon as possible.